This Day in History

Posted: Thursday, February 08, 2007

In Alaska

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• In 1939, the Goldstein Building in downtown Juneau was gutted by fire, destroying radio station KINY-AM offices and the Juneau Medical Center.

• In 1975, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced plans to kill as much as 80 percent of the wolves in Tanana Flats during its planned extermination program. Anchorage Rep. Susan Sullivan suggested that a proposed new state capital be called Gruening.

In the nation

• In 1693, a charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

• In 1837, the Senate selected the vice president of the United States, choosing Richard Mentor Johnson after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

• In 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated.

• In 1915, D.W. Griffith's groundbreaking and controversial silent movie epic about the Civil War, "The Birth of a Nation," premiered in Los Angeles.

• In 1924, the first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City as Gee Jon, a Chinese immigrant convicted of murder, was put to death.

• In 1968, three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, S.C., during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.

• In 1997, President Clinton announced in his weekly radio address that he was releasing the first of a $200 million program of grants to provide schools with computers and Internet training.

• In 2002, the Winter Olympics opened in Salt Lake City with an emotional tribute to America's heroes, from the pioneers of the West to past Olympic champions to the thousands who had perished on Sept. 11.

• In 2006, President Bush condemned deadly rioting sparked by cartoons of the prophet Muhammad as he urged foreign leaders to halt the spreading violence. U2 captured five Grammy awards for their album "How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb," including album of the year.

In the world

• In 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.

• In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War, a conflict over control of Manchuria and Korea, began as Japanese forces attacked Port Arthur.

• In 1974, the last three-man crew of the Skylab space station returned to Earth after spending 84 days in space.

• In 1989, 144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists slammed into a fog-covered mountain in the Azores.

• In 1992, the 16th Olympic Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.

• In 2002, the Taliban's foreign minister (Mullah Abdul Wakil Muttawakil) turned himself in to authorities in Afghanistan.

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